UP govt's ordinance aimed at protecting women's rights: Smriti Irani

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Hyderabad, Nov 25 (PTI) Union Minister Smriti Irani on Wednesday said the Uttar Pradesh government's draft ordinance to deal with religious conversions solely for marriage was aimed at ensuring protection of women's rights and all irrespective of ideology should support it.

The tenets of the Constitution disallow fraudulent and illegal coercive action against a woman, she told reporters here when asked about AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi's comments that such laws would be a gross violation of Article 14 and 21 of Constitution.

'If a state government, takes within the ambit of the Constitution, steps to ensure that women are not criminally and fraudulently coerced into a relationship, should not the right and the protection of that women be supported by Indians across the country, irrespective of our political ideology?,' she asked.

When the intent of the state, under the ambit of the Constitution, was to ensure that fraudulent and criminal coercions were dissuaded to protect the rights of women, it should be looked from that perspective, she added.

The Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday approved a draft ordinance to curb forcible or 'dishonest' religious conversions, including those for the sake of marriage, which could land violators in jail for up to 10 years. PTI SJR VS VS